Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer star in ‘Elsa & Fred’, a remake of the 2005 Latin American hit of the same name.
It tells the story of a blossoming love affair between widower Fred and his vivacious neighbor, Elsa.
“I Ioved the relationship between the two, and older people falling in love was a really attractive to me,” says MacLaine. “Also the complications of her character – she really did lie about everything and stole things and cheated and did whatever she did, not to be colourful, but to make it all the way she wanted to make it.”
With a career spanning more than six decades, the legendary Hollywood actress has more than 60 films under her belt.
But one role in particular has stayed with her: her Oscar-winning performance as Aurora Greenway in the 1983 classic 'Terms of Endearment', in which she stars alongside Jack Nicholson and Debra Winger.
“I’m kind of like her,” she says. “ That’s the closest I come to being like a character. I mean I don’t know, frankly, how difficult it was to play her. I think I just played myself.”
In her latest movie, MacLaine plays Elsa, who breathes life back into Fred, who has pretty much given up after his wife’s death. The pair end up wading into Rome’s Trevi fountain in a scene inspired by Fellini’s classic ‘La Dolce Vita’.
At 80, MacLaine says hers has definitely been a Dolce Vita: “I can’t imagine a better life. I’ve sat back and looked at it and thought ‘Oh my, what I haven’t done is… I can’t think of what I would place, except I’d like to live on a wild animal farm.”
The film has been mostly warmly received by critics, who have called it "sweet" although "predictable". They welcome the pairing of Plummer and Maclaine, who, although they have both been acting in Hollywood for more than six decades, had never met before.
‘Elsa & Fred’ is on global release from now.